UVA offensive line play keys Cavs’ win
The key for UVA in its 38-18 win over UConn on Saturday was vastly improved play from the Cavs offensive line.
Virginia (2-1) had famously run for just 147 yards combined in its first two games, not cracking the three yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust barrier in either, and the inability to establish a running game made the play-calling all too predictable.
That one got resolved out of the gate against the Huskies. UVA’s first drive was the ultimate ball-control drive, an 18-play, 88-yard march that lasted nearly 10 minutes, and on the drive the ‘Hoos gained 39 yards on the ground on six runs, setting the tone for the day.
Virginia used a variety of looks to get things going on the ground, with Jordan Ellis taking care of the traditional running out of the backfield, gaining 95 yards on 20 carries, and wideout Olamide Zaccheaus gaining 47 yards on the ground on a combination of jet sweeps and handoffs while lined up in the tailback slot.
The line also kept quarterback Kurt Benkert clean, for the most part, as he threw for a school-record 455 yards. The postgame box had UConn with one sack and no quarterback hurry on Benkert 43 dropbacks.
One sack, one other tackle for loss, on 71 total snaps by the UVA offense. Not bad.
Column by Chris Graham